16 September, 2016Trade unions of STMicroelectronics from France, Italy, Malaysia, Malta and Morocco met for the first time and launched the trade union network on 15-16 September at IndustriALL head office in Geneva, Switzerland.
The union representatives discussed the common issues they face at STMicroelectronics, a French-Italian multinational, headquartered in Switzerland. The company is a major player in the electronics industry, and is one of leading semiconductor chip manufacturers in the world. The company employs more than 43,000 worldwide, with manufacturing sites in China, France, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Philippines, and Singapore.
The semiconductor industry is highly competitive, innovative, fast changing and with short production cycles. At the same time, many of semiconductor companies are trapped into a short-term profit cycle, fuelling a rise in precarious work. STMicroelectronics is no exception. In 2016, the company announced mass-layoffs worldwide without long-term planning and strategy to maintain its business.
The company also operates in the countries where fundamental workers’ rights are not respected, such as China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In those countries, workers do not have enough collective bargaining power to negotiate with the local management, resulting in precarious working conditions such as low wages and long working hours, for instance 12-hours shift for four consecutive days.
Given the situation, the participants agreed that the company needs to fully comply with international labour standards, especially freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, covering all company operations throughout the world without exception.
In the meeting, the participants actively discussed the following objectives:
- To learn about importance of the trade union network and Global Framework Agreement
- To share and exchange information on the current workplace situation and union activities
- To discuss how to develop the trade union network with a harmonized and coordinated structure
The unions attending the meeting adopted a statement to unite STMicroelectronics trade unions around the world to increase our collective power and engage with the company at the global level. The network will develop cross-border union cooperation and solidarity action to monitor and implement fundamental workers’ rights at all workplaces and to achieve fair and just working conditions for all the workers.
The participants also appointed a contact person from each union to achieve effective and constructive communication among the network and confirmed actions for the next step.